The Brandon Public Library had great success with their first-ever Coding Camp! Ten children from age 8 to 13 participated in the camp, July 24-July 27.
The children used the coding utility “Scratch” to build projects and even their own games. Branch Manager Linda Wolfe would take five to ten minutes before each computer session to teach the kids about different aspects of coding, and then Reference Specialist William Simmons led them through computer sessions. They learned how to make their own versions of art-making programs and how to make a musical program and their own music. They created and played their own video games, and then moved into more complicated coding to make their games more elaborate. The last day had their favorite session, “Sound Party,” where the children got to create animations that reacted to different songs that they played through the code!
In between computer sessions, we had the children do hands-on activities that applied aspects of coding without the computer. The children had to write out very specific instructions in order to “code” their partners in cup stacking games, graph paper replicas, and tangrams. Their final activity was a treasure hunt, which taught them how bugs in code could lead them in circles, much like a frozen computer. Even their snack times involved real-life coding and debugging problems!
At the end of each day, they got to use the Maker Space Snap Circuit kits to make their own tiny electrical circuits. They worked together on specialty kits, and after using the instruction booklet to gain a basic understanding of how the kits worked, competed with one another to see how fast they could build their own circuits. They also tried the game Littlcodr, which required them to use coding cards to direct their partner through their own designed obstacle courses.
Maker Space Kits were available through an LSTA grant from the Mississippi Library Commission. This program was funded by Priority One Bank and the Friends of the Brandon Library. Thank you for your support.
All in all, everyone had a blast learning to code at the Brandon Library. We can’t wait to do it again!